SXSW Day 6: Sparrow goes to the rodeo, then tackles the Metaverse


Does the current generation value digital assets more than real-life assets?

Another unique real gritty experience in Texas saw some of the Mediaweek Tour check out the Rodeo Austin and County Fair with a live performance after the rodeo featuring Flo Rida.

The full rodeo schedule included bareback riding, steer wrestling, team roping, breakaway roping, saddle bronc riding, and tie-down roping. If that wasn’t enough there was also bull riding, bullfighters, barrel man clown, and my favourite Mutton Bustin for kids as young as five years. What an absolute hoot.

Back in the Convention Centre I saw a featured session with Sandy Carter whom I have seen previously at SXSW when she was at Amazon. This year her session was called Metaverse Mindset for web3, AI, and the Future of Business.


Sandy Carter session at SXSW

This is a very big topic and my takeaways were (I thought some were bit of a stretch)
* Looking forward in the metaverse – more grandparents than grandchildren
* Digital first is replaced by Metaverse first
* Africa will have more technical skills than the rest of the world
* More robots than people, human-like A1 embedded in devices
* The current generation values digital assets more than real-life assets

While waiting for the next big session a real surprise and delight … a special moment when a Japanese Zen Buddhist monk performed beatbox, he had the massive audience spellbound and enticed us to enjoy the music section of the festival.

The keynote session Unfold the Universe NASA’s Webb Space Telescope did not disappoint with four outstanding diverse astrophysicists sharing a never-before-seen image. Who would have thought gas and dust could be so beautiful? Loved their personal backstories about struggling and failing physics exams for the first time in college and never giving up.

After two decades of work, this amazing project is rewriting textbooks and space history, very exciting!

Cheech Marin at SXSW

To round out the day another change of pace with Cheech Martin in conversation with arts reporter Daniel Cassady. A fun informative and insightful chat covering his Chicano Art & Culture of Riverside Art Museum. I had no idea he was so passionate about Chicano art and his dedication to culture outside of his comedic background. Cheech is committed to meditation and practices twice a day and his positivity was infectious.

On reflection, as expected I am exhausted in the best possible way, full of inspiration, and energised for the future however my mind is exploding with possibilities and the magic of SXSW Austin Texas. I’ll be back again next year.

See also:
SXSW Day 5 with Tourism Australia: Mediaweek launches Road to SXSW Sydney
SXSW Day 4: Sparrow with TikTok in Austin, missing Deepak Chopra again
SXSW Day 3: Sparrow on Amy Webb, Ed Helms and Brian Baumgartner
SXSW Day 1 and 2: Sparrow at the keynotes including Disney and AI insights
SXSW Day 1 and 2: Trent Thomas visits Prime, Paramount & Audible
SXSW interview sessions: TikTok’s Anny Havercroft with Mediaweek in Austin

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